Welcome to our parish Dalton and Ireleth with Askam
We are Christian communities who want everyone to know that God’s love is for them.
Our Parish is situated on the south west coast of Cumbria and on the edge of the southern part of the Lake District. Over the years, both communities have become dormitory towns within the Borough of Barrow-in-Furness.
Here ‘the mountains meet the sea’, as the western boundary of the parish is the Duddon Estuary and the Walney Channel.
We understand that the Church is the people and we often worship as God’s people in our church buildings.
St. Peter’s Church
In Ireleth and Askam St Peter’s Church was dedicated on St Peter’s Day, 29th June 1865. It was built partly with the profits from the iron mines and is known locally as ‘The Iron Church’. It is a simple structure, with a small bell tower and a South porch, and stands high above the villages of Askam and Ireleth, overlooking the Duddon Estuary and the Irish Sea. Askam is a village which grew rapidly in the mid 19th Century when the iron mines and iron works opened. It has a beach which is famous for its flora and the rare natterjack toad. Ireleth, a village on the banks of the River Duddon, is an ancient settlement mentioned in the Domesday Book in AD1060. The East window is of St Peter, Christ in Majesty and the Blessed Virgin Mary, by Shrigley and Hunt.
St. Mary’s Church
Dalton St Mary’s Church, built between 1883-1885 on a site where it is believed there have been churches since the eighth century. It was designed by Paley and Austin, and is one of their most spectacular buildings. It is built of red sandstone in a 14th Century Gothic style. The red and white chequered stonework on the square tower and the upper walls is distinctive. The decision to rebuild the Church was taken with the promise of financial help from James Ramsden, Henry Schneider and others of wealth in the area who felt that Dalton as the leading church in the area, should not be less imposing than ones recently built in the new borough of Barrow-in-Furness. There is a 14th Century font, much weathered, and bearing the shields of Furness Abbey. There is a peal of 10 bells in the large tower. The ancient glass in the North porch is of figures of saints, and is believed to be from the ancient Church 1320-1360. All the rest of the stained glass is Victorian, in the chapel by John Hardman, and elsewhere by Burlison and Grylls, Shrigley and Hunt, and Heaton Butler and Bayne. In the churchyard can be found the grave of George Romney, the famous portrait painter, who was born in Dalton in 1734. Also in the churchyard is a plaque which outlines the devastating effects of Bubonic Plague which hit the town in 1631.